How to Make the Most of Your Staycation

 In Blog, family fun, Family Travel CK, food, holiday travel, Tips, travel tips

It’s that time of year again – the leaves are falling off the trees, the kids are heading back to school, and summer is coming to a close. But just because the vacation might be over, doesn’t mean the fun has to end. If you’re looking for one last hoorah with your kids as they head back to school, consider taking a staycation. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll be able to enjoy a much needed vacation from your summer vacation! We’re going to give you some of our best tips for getting creative with your staycation. You’ll see why you don’t have to hop on a plane to have fun!

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Have a Board Game-athon – Put on some music and get out all your old favorites! From Candyland or Trouble, to Apples to Apples or Monopoly, it’s easy to spend a whole afternoon playing board games. You can even stop by your local Goodwill or Target to pick up a few new games to enjoy as a family. If you feel like getting a bit competitive, keep an overall score of who wins the most games at the end of the day!

 

Photo Credit: Flickr/Noodles & Company

Enjoy an Indoor Picnic – Don’t feel like eating out or cooking? Treat yourself to an indoor picnic. Pick-up some global dishes to-go from your local Noodles & Company, then head home, spread out a blanket and some napkins on your living or family room floor, and travel the world with each bite. Make it adventurous by suggesting everyone order something they’ve never had before. Be sure to keep the TV off to encourage conversation among each other, and try asking where everyone would want to go if they could travel anywhere in the world!

 

Photo Credit: PxHere

Do a Craft – You don’t have to be an artsy person to get crafty. You can learn how to do just about anything from a craft book or Pinterest. Try starting with something simple. Take an old Mason jar and a variety of noodles, then using a strong glue, glue them onto the jar in various designs and patterns. Once the glue has dried, paint over the noodles however you’d like. When you’re done, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind flower vase! If you need flowers to fill your new vase, try making your own with ribbon and glue. Check out some examples here.

 

Photo Credit: No Kid Hungry

Cook Some Creative Cuisine – Cook the most interesting and delicious meal you can using only the ingredients in your house! Look at some recipes in a cookbook or online, and see what you might be able to substitute if you don’t have one of the ingredients. Of course, it’s probably best to avoid combinations like pasta and gummy bears, but otherwise feel free to get creative. If you decide to have each person create their own dish, do a blind taste-test when you’re finished and see if people can guess your main ingredients!

 

Photo Credit: Tumblr.com

Build a Fort – Who doesn’t have fond memories of building a fort as a kid? Grab your blankets and pillows, and transform your space into your own, unique creation. Be sure to bring flashlights and games under the covers, and don’t forget the main thing every fort needs – a secret password to enter!

 

Photo Credit: Hanscom Air Force Base

Get a Head Start on Your Halloween Costume – It’s never too early to celebrate Halloween! Plus, costumes don’t have to be pricey. Take one of your staycation afternoons to do some fun shopping, and head to your local thrift store to begin finding pieces for your Halloween costume. If costumes aren’t your thing, buy a few old t-shirts and get creative re-cutting and styling them! Here are a few ideas to get you started!

 

Photo Credit: Flickr

Go Camping in Your Backyard – Get out your sleeping bags and pop-up tent and set up camp in your backyard. Just as if you were really camping, leave the electronics in the house, and bring out games, flashlights, and snacks to share. If you have a fire pit, cookout s’mores and tell ghost stories by the fire, or have a game of flashlight hide and seek when it gets dark. Even if you don’t want to sleep outside, you can still have a fun camping experience right in your backyard.

 

Photo Credit: AF.mil

Make a Movie – Grab a video camera or even your phone, write a script, film and edit in a basic editing software, like iMovie. If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, try taking a basic premise (a heist gone wrong, a troublesome ghost, two friends who have a disagreement), or even spoof one of your favorite movies. At the end of the day, premiere your movie with popcorn and a makeshift red carpet.

 

Photo Credit: kanaa.bloger.index.hr

Go On a Bike Ride – Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year for a bike ride. It’s not too hot, the leaves are just starting to change, and the parks are (hopefully) not as crowded. Get on your bikes and ride around the neighborhood, or visit a local forest preserve with riding trails for some fresh air.

 

Photo Credit: Flickr

Plan Next Summer’s Vacation – I know, summer just ended, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead for your next vacation! If there was someplace you and your family wanted to go this summer, but didn’t get to, plan it for next year. Get a large poster board, use markers and rulers to line up your agenda, and decorate the board with maps, magazine clippings, and ideas for your next trip. This is also a good opportunity to discuss with your kids that planning for a trip also means saving up your money. Set aside a “vacation jar”, so the next time someone wants to splurge on a treat, remind them of your next vacation, and put the money that would have gone on the treat towards your trip. It’ll add up faster than you think!

 

Photo Credit: No Kid Hungry

Take a Day to Give Back – We often spend so much time dealing with the daily grind, it’s hard to find a time to give back. Take a day of your staycation to donate a few hours to a charity of your choice. Local animal shelters, homeless shelters, and senior centers, are just a few great places to help out your community. There are also plenty of small ways to give back. For the month of September 2017, for example, Noodles & Company is giving away a coupon for a free shareable for those who donate just $2 to their No Kid Hungry campaign, which aims to end childhood hunger in the U.S. (did you know that 1 in 6 kids struggle with hunger?). Keep a lookout at local stores for similar promotions to this. You’ll soon find that giving back is a lot easier than you may think!

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